Hosea - Chapter 3

1Hashem said to me further, “Go, befriend a woman who, while befriended by a companion, consorts with others, just as Hashem befriends the Israelites, but they turn to other gods and love the cups of the grape.”

אוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֵלַי עוֹד לֵךְ אֱ‍הַב־אִשָּׁה אֲהֻבַת רֵעַ וּמְנָאָפֶת כְּאַהֲבַת יְהֹוָה אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהֵם פֹּנִים אֶל־אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וְאֹהֲבֵי אֲשִׁישֵׁי עֲנָבִים׃

2Then I hired her for fifteen [shekalim of] silver, a chomer of barley, and a letek of barley;

בוָאֶכְּרֶהָ לִּי בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר כָּסֶף וְחֹמֶר שְׂעֹרִים וְלֵתֶךְ שְׂעֹרִים׃

3and I stipulated with her, “In return, you are to go a long time without either fornicating or marrying; even I [shall not cohabit] with you.”

גוָאֹמַר אֵלֶיהָ יָמִים רַבִּים תֵּשְׁבִי לִי לֹא תִזְנִי וְלֹא תִהְיִי לְאִישׁ וְגַם־אֲנִי אֵלָיִךְ׃

4For the Israelites shall go a long time without king and without officials, without sacrifice and without cult pillars, and without ephod and teraphim.

דכִּי יָמִים רַבִּים יֵשְׁבוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵין מֶלֶךְ וְאֵין שָׂר וְאֵין זֶבַח וְאֵין מַצֵּבָה וְאֵין אֵפוֹד וּתְרָפִים׃

5Afterward, the Israelites will turn back and will seek Hashem their God and David their king—and they will thrill over Hashem and over His bounty in the days to come.

a-KHAR ya-SHU-vu b'-NAY yis-ra-AYL u-vik-SHU et a-do-NAI e-lo-hay-HEM v'-AYT da-VEED mal-KAM u-fa-kha-DU el a-do-NAI v'-el tu-VO b'-a-kha-REET ha-ya-MEEM

האַחַר יָשֻׁבוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבִקְשׁוּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם וְאֵת דָּוִד מַלְכָּם וּפָחֲדוּ אֶל־יְהֹוָה וְאֶל־טוּבוֹ בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים׃

 3:5  In the days to come

Prime Minister Menachem Begin (1913-1992)

Hoshea promises that despite the period of punishment and separation, ultimately Israel will return and seek Hashem, their God and David, their king. He says this will take place b’acharit ha’yamim (באחרית הימים), translated here as ‘in the days to come,’ but often translated as ‘the end of days.’ However, as Prime Minister Menachem Begin pointed out in a speech to the delegates of the United Nations Disarmament Conference in 1982, “Acharit hayamim does not mean ‘the last days’ or ‘the end of days.’ On the contrary! The key word, acharit, is a synonym for a bright future. It means hatikva, ‘hope,’ as we find in Jeremiah (29:11): latet lachem acharit v’tikva (לתת לכם אחרית ותקוה) — ‘to give to you a future and a hope,’ or, ‘to give you a hopeful future.’ Acharit can also mean progeny, as we find in Ezekiel (23:25), and in progeny there is future. Hence, b’acharit hayamim really means the days of redemption, when mankind shall enjoy the full blessings of eternal peace for all generations to come.” The Prime Minister taught the UN delegates that no matter how difficult the present may be, one must maintain our hope for a bright future and the days of redemption.